Q: What is TNR?

Trap, Neuter, Return, or “TNR” (also sometimes referred to as “TNVR”) is widely used around the world as the only effective and humane option to manage the population of stray and feral cats. During this process, the cats are trapped using a live trap, and transported in the trap to a participating Spay and Neuter Clinic where they are sedated, spayed or neutered, and vaccinated for rabies. During the surgery, the veterinarian also removes the very tip of the left ear. The eartip is the universal sign that the cat has been through the TNR process.

Q: What is a community cat?

Community cat is a term used for all free roaming cats, whether stray or feral. They live in colonies together, where they are looked after by a caretaker.

Q: What is a feral cat?

A feral cat is just like your domesticated indoor cat, however, the only difference is that a feral cat has never been socialized to humans. They have never had contact with humans, and they live happily outside in their territory with a dedicated caretaker. They can thrive with a little help from us, and will live a healthier, safer life after being spayed/neutered and vaccinated.

Q: What is a caretaker?

A caretaker is someone who lives near and looks after a colony of feral cats. They provide them with access to food and water, shelter from the elements, and in cities with a TNR ordinance, maintain records of the cats to provide upon request if needed. Caretakers are essential to TNR, and for the wellbeing of the cats’ health and safety.

Q: What is the purpose of a TNR city ordinance?

TNR ordinance allows rescue volunteers, caretakers, and concerned citizens the legal ability to perform trap, neuter, return to help our community cats. This allows feral cats to remain where they are, preventing their impoundment by animal control. Feral cats are not adoptable, and do not belong in a shelter environment. The ordinance allows the community to work together to prevent future suffering of kittens born outside, and to help reduce the number of homeless cats.

Q: Can a feral cat become friendly?

Most feral cats prefer to live in their territory outside with their colony, and will never become an indoor lap cat, and that’s okay! Some may become socialized and friendly once trust is built with a caretaker, and they may decide they would rather spend their time indoors with a family. Sometimes adults feral cats can become socialized rather quickly, while it may take years for others. Young kittens become social quite quickly, and adjust easily to the indoor lifestyle.

Q: Why are feral cats mean?

Without knowing cat behavior, the common stereotype is that feral cats are mean and aggressive. This is simply not their motive. Ferals cats do not seek out human attention, and stay as far away from people as possible. Their reaction to humans is out of fear and defense.

Q: What if kittens that are trapped?

Kittens that are trapped through the process are not returned outside. Instead, they are taken in to be socialized, vetted and then adopted out at the appropriate age.

Q: What if a friendly cat is trapped?

If friendly adult cats are trapped, they are scanned for an identifying microchip. TNR helps us reunite lost cats with their families, helps us get cruelly abandoned cats off the streets and into the loving forever homes they deserve.